Research shows that about 43% of patients over 60 might be missing fundamental health information because of hearing loss. At a time when following medical advice is so important, patients could be missing vital details about their care.
There is a Worldwide Hearing Epidemic
Hearing loss is a major problem. Debilitating hearing loss is an issue worldwide for about a third of people over 65.
If we take it further, we see that surprisingly only around 30% of those same senior citizens who suffer with hearing loss have, or use, treatments that would improve their hearing. In terms of medical care, this isn’t good news.
With Medical Care – Communication is Key
Miscommunication is one of the major causes of medical errors, and medical errors are still a leading cause of death. A report from Harvard revealed that as many as 37% of serious injuries that were caused by medical errors could have been prevented with improved communication. Lives could be saved if essential information could be better communicated with patients.
How Medical Care is Impacted by Hearing Loss
When you are talking with pharmacists, nurses, or doctors there is some info you won’t want to miss so let’s not linger on statistics.
With regards to reaching health goals, the advice of health care professionals is a vital factor. They may talk about what healthy levels are for things like blood sugar or blood pressure. They may tell you to avoid certain foods to prevent spikes in these levels that can do you harm. You might be missing important pieces of advice that would help you manage your condition.
You might be in a situation where your doctor informs you that you require medical care. You may not get the assistance that you require because you didn’t completely comprehend what your doctor was explaining.
There may be crucial details about dangerous side effects of medications which your pharmacist is attempting to warn you about. You could end up in the hospital or worse because you thought you heard everything but you didn’t.
Your physical therapist gets you started with a strength-building regimen but warns you against a specific activity. You miss the recommendation and sustain a serious fall as a result.
It’s Especially Difficult to Communicate Medical Information
Discussing medical information is especially difficult because of a little thing known as context. When you miss some piece of information because of your hearing loss, you use context to try to fill in what you missed. Your brain is in fact very good at compensating for hearing loss. So good, actually, that it might even make you believe that you heard something you didn’t truly hear.
The meaning of a sentence can be completely altered, when addressing medical information, with something as simple as a “don’t” or “not”. A danger zone, goal, or dosage, could be
totally changed with one missed number.
The slightest detail makes a big difference when it comes to medical care. When those little details are missed, it can result in serious medical problems.
Getting Help For Hearing Loss
You could be missing essential medical advice if you have hearing loss. Now is the time to take the correct steps to conserve your hearing.